Archives: July 2019

Engaging in Superhero Stories with Tristar Reads

As we enter into the final stretch of Tristar Reads, let’s continue to get lost in those good stories. Keep reading to learn how superheroes teach us about the art of storytelling with Tristar Reads.

The Art of Storytelling

Everyone loves a good superhero story and most superhero stories resemble fables. 

Fables are a beautiful way to teach your child about morals, life lessons and impart wisdom in an engaging manner. Fables are stories that have been passed down through generations, down to the present, to deliver important lessons about life, nature, love, friendship and moral teaching around good heartedness.

Generally, a fable is identified by three distinguishing characteristics:     

1. Characters are animals or inanimate objects that act like humans.
2. The story illustrates a moral lesson, most often included at the end.
3. The story is brief, usually no more than two to three pages in length.

Superhero stories do a wonderful job of teaching us how to live a life of integrity and value, which is often reflected in the characteristics of a fable. Let’s continue telling stories that use our imagination and teach us positive behavior.

We’re in the final stretch of Tristar Reads as it wraps up this week. Keep on reading and logging your hours at Tristar Reads. You don’t want to miss out on all the exciting prizes, especially the $1,000 scholarship!


Our Superhero of the week is Paris Dabbs! Paris is a Greene County YMCA camp counselor.

Paris and her friends are practicing reading and their skit skills together.  

Click here to watch their special rehearsal of The Three Little Pigs.  Enjoy!

Weekly Superhero Challenge!

Throughout the summer, we will be offering different Superhero Challenges each week– some may include additional prizes.

Superhero Challenge Week 12:

Great job with logging your reading hours so far! Our challenge this week is to read and log at least 100 minutes. Forward this email to friends so they can get involved too. 

New TNReady Vendor, Tristar Reads in its Final Month and More!

Our Education Advocacy and Leadership Summit’s are here! Stay up to date on the latest news with TSS here

It’s the last month to sign up for Tristar Reads if you haven’t yet, there’s still time! Keep reading for more updates and information.

New School Testing Vendor Solidified for Next Two Years

Recently, the Tennessee Department of Education solidified and signed a two-year contract with Pearson, a British-based student testing program worth almost $40 million. This contract began on July 1 and is welcome news for the future of our state’s testing structure and the students taking those tests.

Fun fact: Pearson is the worlds oldest and largest testing company. With two years to ensure the program is running smoothly, Tennessee will be able to renew its contract on a yearly basis through 2024, so Pearson can prove trustworthy before the state extends their agreement any further. 

At Tennesseans for Student Success, we support an aligned high-quality yearly assessment to measure what our students are learning and also highlight areas for improvement and provide professional development opportunities for educators.

Armored for Victory with Tristar Reads!

July is our LAST month of Tristar Reads, so be sure you get in on the action now before it’s too late!

Be sure to watch a special reading of The Bravest Knight with a knight himself here. During the Middle Ages, there were three main types of soldiers: foot soldiers, archers and knights. Knights were heavily armored soldiers who rode on horseback. Being armored for action with a trusted sidekick, knights are superheroes too!

Put on your armor and be a superhero this summer with Tristar Reads. Students in grades K-12 are eligible and will be entered for the chance to win a $1,000 scholarship! It’s not too late to sign up! 

Don’t miss out on important reminders and the weekly Superhero Challenge. Sign up for our weekly Tristar Reads email!

Education Advocacy and Leadership Summit

Today, we are kicking off our Education Advocacy and Leadership Summit in Knoxville, Tennessee, and next week we will be holding a summit in Nashville. We have these summits annually as a way to engage with educators, community leaders and parents who want to learn how to be an advocate for students in public education.

TSS provides 6 hours of professional development training and discussions with various organizations like the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE), state legislators, thought leaders and professionals in the community. We’re passionate about teaching others student-centered education reform and the history of Tennessee’s education system. If you weren’t able to make it this year, please reach out and we will get you on our list for next year’s summit.

In Case You Missed It…

Summer Will Be Over in a FLASH

So far this summer, K-12 students across the state of Tennessee have read 500,000 minutes by logging their hours on Tristar Reads! That’s wonderful news! But summer will be over before you know it, so read below to learn ways to use your superhero powers for the remainder of this summer with Tristar Reads.

Keep an Eye Out for Superhero Flash

Have you ever heard the saying, “time flies by when you’re having fun?”

I know that saying especially resonates during the summer months. Summer is going as fast as the Superhero Flash!

With the beginning of school quickly approaching, department stores are stocking up on school supplies and teachers are preparing their classroom. It’s important to take advantage of every moment to read all the exciting books you’ve been thinking about! 

Tristar Reads is all about preventing the summer slide, but also about having fun in the process. Don’t let the summer flash right before your eyes: enjoy every moment of sunshine, read your favorite books and log your hours at Keep an eye out for Superhero Flash and don’t let this summer pass you by! If you are or are the parent of a student in grades K-12, don’t forget to sign up for Tristar Reads. You’ll be entered for the chance to win a $1,000 scholarship!


Our Superhero of the week is one our incredible friend’s, Mrs. Avery!

Mrs. Avery’s Kindergarten class is reminding our future kindergartners that they are not babies. They have hit big kid status.

Click here to watch her special reading of I’m NOT a Baby now! Enjoy!

Weekly Superhero Challenge!

Throughout the summer, we will be offering different Superhero Challenges each week– some may include additional prizes.

500,000 minutes. Let’s keep up the momentum. This week we challenge you to continue to log more hours at Forward this email to friends so they can sign up too!

Honoring America’s Superhero Servicemembers with Tristar Reads!
This week, we are highlighting the men and women who serve our great nation and allow us to have the freedoms that we enjoy every day. As we celebrate Independence Day this week, let’s use our superhero powers to extend gratitude to those who protect this amazing country.


Thank You to Our Country’s Superheroes: Our Armed Forces

Why do we celebrate the 4th of July with parades, fireworks and BBQ?

It is said that it has to do with a letter that the leader of the American Revolution, John Adams, wrote to his wife Abigail on July 2, 1776, about America’s Independence.

In the letter he wrote,

“This day will be most memorable in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary festival…It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, bonfire and illuminations (fireworks) from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

Days later, the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted by Congress and festivities that began then still take place today.

We’re thankful to live in such an amazing and free country, which is why we’d like to honor Corporal Knight during our reading this week. Remember: students in grades K-12 are eligible and will be entered for a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship! Log your hours with Tristar Reads now.

Sign Up Now!



We honor our Superhero of the week, Corporal Knight, as he serves our nation in the United States Army and the Tennessee Army National Guard.

Take time today to thank a servicemember for serving our country and giving us the freedoms we are blessed to have everyday.

Be sure to watch his special reading of America the Beautiful Together We Stand!

Watch now!


Weekly Superhero Challenge!

Throughout the summer, we will be offering different Superhero Challenges each week– some may include additional prizes.

Superhero Challenge Week 10:
Post a photo of what Independence Day means to you on Facebook or Twitter using #tristarreads4thofjuly. Don’t forget to log your hours this week!